While I’m enjoying time with my family in Romania several of my favorite food bloggers (born outside US just like me) are sharing their culinary talents with you.
Today, I’d like you to welcome Kankana. She’s an Indian, now living in sunny California.
On her blog, Sunshine and smile, she shares mostly Indian inspired recipes from appetizers to main dishes and even desserts all shown in stunning photos. If you’re craving comfort Indian food, Kankana’s blog is the place to start cooking from.
Now, please say Hello to my friend Kankana
Chena Sondesh/Curdle Milk Fudge
When I offered these to Arvind, he said ‘did you get these from the sweet shop’? I was on cloud 9 and kept blabbering about it to everybody for the next two days
Sondesh or Sandesh, as you may call it, is sweet fudge made with milk and it is very popular among Bengalis. It’s usually made during special occasions and at times, just because we want to eat it. You don’t have to struggle much to look for Sondesh in West Bengal. Every restaurant, big or small, and every single sweet shop will sell one or the other variety of Sondesh. Trust me when I say this, you will never get tired of these delicious and soft sweet bites.
Roxana from ‘A Little Bit Of Everything’ requested me to do a guest post and she was hoping if I could share some comfort food with memories from childhood. I did say ‘Yes’ and then immediately started wondering ‘what is my comfort food from childhood’?
Don’t get me wrong.. I don’t have amnesia. It’s just that as a child, I hardly use to enjoy food and eating was more like a torture to me.
Roxana and I started interacting for few months ago and what caught my attention is her ability to bake breads. After a lot of brainstorming I decided to make something sweet for her and her little daughter. Thank you Roxana for giving me the opportunity to share this dish in your beautiful blog.
I really don’t remember what was my comfort food as a kid, but I clearly remember that my Mom used to make Sondesh very frequently. Mom’s Sondesh was very famous among our friends and families and she used to make that with ‘Khoya’. Making khoya at home is a very tedious task. The milk has to be thickened by slow cooking and constant stirring in an open wok. The whole process used to take at-least 2 hours but the final result was always worth the effort.
She would then make tiny balls out of it and I had to press it in a mould to give it a nice fancy shape. It was a fun task and as a kid, it always felt like a proud moment
May be someday, I will gain enough patience to make my Mom’s sondesh and share it with you.
Few weeks back, I came across Soma’s recipe on Sondesh, which is a different kind of sondesh made with curled milk ‘Chena’. It took me back to my childhood days and I decided to make these for Roxana and her family
This will make about 10 Sondesh
* 1/2 gallon milk (8 cups)
* 3-1/2 tbs lemon juice
* 1/2 cup sugar
* a pinch of saffron threads
* finely chopped pistachio, for garnish
In a deep pan, bring the milk to boil. Remember to stir it occasionally or else the milk will get burnt.
Once it starts boiling, reduce the heat and pour the lemon juice while constantly stirring.
Within 3 to 4 seconds, the milk will curdle and you should see clear green water. At this time, turn off the heat completely. You can drop few ice-cubes in the pan to bring down the temperature.
Let it cool for a minute and then strain it through the cheesecloth.
Wash the collected cheese with cold tap water to remove the lemon flavor.
Tie the sides of the cheesecloth together tightly and hang it somewhere to drain the remaining water from the cheese. This should take about an hour.
Take out the cheese from the cheesecloth and knead for about 10 minutes, or until it’s smooth.
Mix sugar and saffron threads to it and knead for another couple of minutes.
Next, heat a non-stick pan and cook the paneer in low heat for about 15 minutes. Keep stirring constantly and eventually, you’ll see that the color will change to a darker shade.
Take it out and start shaping it while its warm.
I flattened the cheese dough and used a 1-inch cookie cutter to shape it up, but you can use any other shape you like.
These will be soft and very delicate to handle but as they cool down, they will harden a little bit.
Garnish with chopped pistachio and serve!